Haase sets record straight on money talk
Originally published on: 20/07/12 00:00
The 25-year-old Dutchman has collected over $1.6million in prize money to date but believes that outside observers do not consider the expenses players fork out in order to challenge at the top level.
“It’s not an easy topic when it’s about money, of course. For people who watch the sport and see the numbers at the Grand Slams they think, ‘woah, they make so much money’, but you have to see it over the year," stressed Haase. "You have to see who’s making the money and understand what kind of expenses a tennis player has.
“If you’re 80 in the world, people think you’re a millionaire. But if you have a coach, and, like me now, if you have a physio, it’s a lot of money. You don’t have a lot left at the end of the year. The world looks at it differently to the athlete.”
This year’s Grand Slams have seen a greater proportion of money filter through to lower-ranked players. At the French Open, first round losers were awarded a 20% pay rise, while at Wimbledon first round losers walked away with £14,500 – an extra 26 per cent on the 2011 event. The US Open is set to follow suit, offering a 21 per cent increase to first round losers and a 19 per cent pay bonus for those who fall in the second round.
Though encouraged by the increases, the Dutchman, who was elected to the ATP Player Council this June, believes major tournaments can still shell out a greater proportion of their overall revenue to benefit the players, and the game as a whole.
”If there’s so much more money [available], of course we want to make more,” Haase added. “We have to make the money, especially the guys who are ranked from 80 to 120 – they have to make their money [at the Grand Slams] to have all their expenses for the whole year to travel with a coach. If you’re 100 in the world, people think you’re a millionaire. I think you make £20-30,000 a year.”